Getting Shit Done Work

Work intensification

Liked How the Push for Efficiency Changes Us by Tara McMullinTara McMullin (

Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg declared this the Year of Efficiency for the company.
It was time for them to buckle down and get leaner, get flatter, and get more optimized… Efficiency initiatives are all about doing the same (or more) with less.
And while sometimes that can be done purely through technology, *humans* often bear the brunt of efficiency initiatives.

Work intensification happens on two levels. First, there’s the amount and pace of work. In the case of layoffs and the euphemistic “restructuring,” that’s literally making up for the work that used to be done by one’s former colleagues by adding it to the remaining employees’ workloads. Second, there’s the type of work being done and its emotional or cognitive load.

Hard work, long hours, real commitment—that’s the recipe for moving forward. But it’s not as though it’s a temporary sacrifice for those who remain.

Waiting for the remaining workers at Meta and Amazon to unionize 😎 Not that my union was much help to me, but at least I had someone on my side.

Mental Health Self Care

Agency Is Restorative

Bookmarked Your burnout is unique, your recovery will be too (

Burnout is “any combination of three distinct symptoms: exhaustion (a depletion of mental or physical resources), cynical detachment (a depletion of social connectedness), and a reduced sense of efficacy (a depletion of value for oneself). To recover from burnout, you must identify which of these resources has been depleted and take action to replenish those resources.”

Is burnout a form of depression? 🤔

Can you burn out on any activity? I feel like I’m burned out on politics and climate change, even as I keep trying to hold onto hope we won’t be too late. It doesn’t help to start as a pessimist 😉

To effectively overcome burnout, employees must feel empowered to take control over their own lives and decisions.

[Self-] compassion is a like a muscle: it can be exhausted, but it can also be trained.

Mental Health

Burnout Leaves You Charred

Quoted Has Covid burnout permanently changed part of me as a doctor? – STAT by Sudhakar Nuti (STAT)

As a new doctor in training bludgeoned by the Covid-19 pandemic, I worry that burnout has changed me from doctor to debris.

What’s never spoken is that burnout is the remnant of a fire. I’ve never seen a piece of charred wood and thought that some time by itself and some water will restore it to its former state.

— Sudhakar Nuti

Mental Health

Indulging in I Don’t Wanna

Quoted Honestly, to Hell With Self-Care Right Now by Jess Zimmerman (Slate)

“For an adult, the big, difficult feelings are expressed a little more quietly… Instead, we backslide on our smoking, spend too much money, eat potato chips even though they give us gas. We let the dishes pile up, stop washing our faces, cycle through the same three grungy outfits day after day. It’s not just laziness, or self-indulgence, or fatigue. It’s self-expression and protest: I will act miserable because I am miserable and I want to act the way I feel, and I don’t need to act like I feel better and you can’t make me. It’s a way of externalizing feelings that may be too big to communicate or contemplate on their own: maybe I can’t deal head on with the void of the future, but by god I can sit here refusing to get up until I need to pee REALLY bad. It is, in its own way, a kind of self-care.”

Jess Zimmerman

I have had moments in my life which I don’t look back on kindly where I just balked hard and refused what was on offer.  But maybe I shouldn’t beat myself up for those moments of listening to myself and admitting I don’t wanna, even if they didn’t turn out well.


“‘All my coping strategies are failing,’ one person told me recently. ‘I am coming undone.'”

“What’s changed is that our surge capacity — the body’s ability to process stress — was depleted months ago. We have so much grief and nowhere to put it. When you can’t process something, it builds up, like bile. And no matter how creatively or diligently you try to ignore it, it’s still there, slowly festering. At some point your body begins to betray your best compartmentalization strategies. Our dreams have become vivid and terrifying because sleep is one of the places we allow ourselves to confront our sadness and fear.

This sort of chronic instability, and the burnout and exhaustion that accompany it, fundamentally changes us.

— Anne Helen Petersen

Mental Health

Watched The UX of Burnout

Watched The UX of Burnout: There and Back Again by Thorsten Jonas from Adobe Max

Join this session to hear one strategic UX consultant’s personal journey through a burn-out and the changes he made to work life as a creative person and leader.

At Adobe Max 2020 virtual conference.

Presented by Thorsten Jonas.

Related to this personal talk. He makes a good point that we can still be creative even while we are burned out but that we can’t use that as an excuse not to deal with problems.

He described a familiar pattern of having trouble, taking a break, then returning without changing anything (which lets the problem return).

His approach to recovering from burnout:

  1. Use your tools (things you know help you)
  2. Focus on things besides work / strengthen your personal life
  3. Reevaluate work
  4. Start new things, connect with new people, try new directions

“The key to healing is the confrontation with yourself.”